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How Many Florida Children & Teens Drink Or Use Drugs?

Posted by Informed Families on September 25, 2018 at 2:17 PM

People make a lot of assumptions about what children and teens do or don't do when it comes to substance abuse. This can be based on the person's own experiences, what he or she sees on social media or in movies or what others may have experienced. Luckily, we don't have to assume, thanks to the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS) report, which was just released for 2018.

The FYSAS was administered to almost 55,000 Florida students in 686 middle and high schools in February of 2018.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Alcohol and cigarette use is declining. Between 2006 and 2018, past-month use of alcohol declined by 16.7 percent (11.7% for middle school students and 20.6% among high school students), binge drinking declined by 10 percent (5.3% for middle school students and 13.4% for high school students) and cigarette use declined by 8.1 percent (4.8% for middle school students and 10.6 percent reduction among high school students).
  • Binge drinking is still an issue. One out of every 10 high school students reported binge drinking in the last 30 days and one out of seven reported blacking out from drinking.
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Topics: drug abuse, teens, children, alcohol use

Last Year Was The Worst Year In US History For Drug Overdoses

Posted by Informed Families on August 26, 2018 at 5:31 PM

prescription-drug-USDrug overdose was responsible for the loss of nearly 72,000 Americans in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. That’s just under 200 people each day for the entire year - and 8,000 more deaths than the previous year, also a record year. At least 2/3 of those deaths were due to opioid abuse. Here are two trends that are contributing to this awful epidemic.

From Pills To Heroin

Patients receiving prescription drugs for pain as a result of an injury or recovering from surgery are often given significantly more than they need. While opioids are effective in managing pain, their addictive properties make them dangerous for long-term use.

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Topics: drug abuse, prescription drugs, prescription drug abuse, opioids, lock your meds

Opioids In Florida: The Latest Stats

Posted by Informed Families on January 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM

How Large Is The Opioid Problem In Florida?

With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, Florida is certainly not immune. And apparently, the problem is getting worse. According to a recent report from Florida's medical examiners, there has been a dramatic 22% increase (2,126 more deaths) of in drug-related deaths from the prior year. The report also showed a 35% increase in opioid-related deaths (1,483 over the previous year for a total of 5,725).

Not suprisingly, more deaths were caused by prescription drugs than illicit drugs, accounting for 61% of all drug occurrences in the report. After all, availability and a low perception of harm lead to increased use and abuse.

The drugs that caused the most deaths were cocaine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, morphine, heroin, alcohol, oxycodone, methadone and methamphetamine.

“Clearly, those are shocking numbers and we have got to do something about it,” said Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa to The News Service of Florida.

Here are additional highlights from the report: 

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Topics: drug prevention, drug abuse, opioids, prescription, prescription drug abuse, prescription drugs, lock your meds

Informed Families Partners With The National Institute On Drug Abuse

Posted by Informed Families on December 8, 2017 at 12:38 PM

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week To Be Celebrated In Schools Across Florida

Once again, Informed Families is partnering with NIDA to implement National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week in schools and communities across Florida. Specifically, Informed Families will provide science-based prevention materials to hundreds of schools as part of the 2018 Lock Your Meds Campaign.

Additionally, Informed Families will share NIDA's National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge quiz (Test Your Knowledge Now) during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, which helps teens test their knowledge about drugs, alcohol, and drug abuse with an interactive quiz.

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Topics: drug prevention, drug abuse, nida

President's Message - November 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 28, 2017 at 10:01 PM

A Time To Give Thanks

November signifies a time of gratitude for all things. As we gather with our families for delicious dinners prepared with the best trimmings, we reflect deeply on what truly means the most to us and express gratitude for those things.

After 35 years of providing families with the tools to help kids make healthy choices, I am extremely thankful for the success of Informed Families. This year, I have plenty to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the hard-working staff of Informed Families for working diligently to ensure that families and children are united to combat the social pressures of underage drinking and illegal drug use.

I am thankful for an active Board of Trustees, who altruistically dedicates their time to supporting our mission and achieving our vision.  

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, red ribbon week, red ribbon, Family Day

President's Message - October 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 26, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Why Simple Things Really Do Make A Difference

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Conference of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School. What’s the latest?  We are all stressed, the world is spinning faster and we feel a loss of control, which is creating more anxiety. We live in a VUCA world…VUCA is an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. 

Some simple things to know are: 

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. EVERYONE IS EXPERIENCING this rapid rate of change and uncertainty.

2. Don’t try to keep up or get ahead of the curve. Learn how to live effectively. 

3. Put down and turn off the screens. We are driving OURSELVES CRAZY. Who said you had to respond to every email, tweet, and message?

4. Do Mindful meditation for yourself and with your family…there are proven health results.

We are a society addicted to experts, silver bullets and having the right answer, but the new research is showing that the expert is YOU.  Being in Community with others is critical for health and wellness – and the first community we have is our family. We have an immunity to change; we tell ourselves something, but do something else. Yet, by spending time with ourselves and our families, we start to find meaningful answers.

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, red ribbon week, red ribbon, Family Day

President's Message - September 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 26, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Normal Day, Let Me Be Aware Of The Treasure You Are

If nothing else, Hurricane Irma helps us to greatly appreciate uneventful times and the normalcy of our regular routines.

We take normal routines for granted; we don’t think about electricity, cable, phones, etc. until they are not functioning.  Then, we get anxious and angry…someone let us down!  Who? FPL, the cable company, the city, surely there is someone to blame for inconveniencing my routine. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t care about inconvenience to my little routine.

Hurricanes get our attention and force us to reexamine our place in the universe. I love the line, “Do you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”  We witness resilience from people whose house and cars are destroyed. Most say the same thing, “we still have our lives.” 

Normal Day, Let Me Be Aware Of The Treasure You Are for someday I will want to hold you and you will be gone. As our routines return to normal, let’s treasure each routine and normal day.

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, lock your meds

President's Message - August 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 24, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Let's Hold The Media, Our Systems & Ourselves Accountable By Asking "WHY," Not Just WHAT"

A recent People magazine cover story focused on 135 faces of opioid epidemic victims. We appreciate the magazine’s coverage of this national crisis.

However, have you noticed the news is always reporting WHAT, WHAT, WHAT AND rarely WHY, WHY, WHY?

Why is the opioid crisis happening?

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, lock your meds

President's Message - July 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on July 19, 2017 at 5:03 PM

Visible & Invisible "Human Chains" Save Lives

To save a desperate, drowning family, 80 Florida citizens made a human chain on Panama City Beach in early July. What a beautiful reminder that by working together, we all have the power to keep children and families safe. News reports spoke of the dozens of beachgoers lining up in response to the desperate mother’s cries, organizing themselves by skill level, with the stronger swimmers in the deeper water and others standing closer to the shore.

A tragedy was prevented and the story spread like wildfire. Why? Because the story warmed our hearts. Who doesn’t love a story about a large group of complete strangers coming together to save children in danger?

That’s what Informed Families’ supporters do each year…they build a network of people to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.  Donors, volunteer Ambassadors, educators, counselors, parents, schools, law enforcement and community organizations form networks to take our four campaigns and prevention messages to schools, building safety nets for children across Florida.

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Topics: President's Message, parents, summer, drug abuse, drug prevention

President's Message - June 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on June 20, 2017 at 11:33 AM

Unplug To Connect With Your Children This Summer

Summer offers a sense of freedom for kids. With school out of session, children gain a great deal of free time. As parents you take on more responsibility; it’s your responsibility to keep children active physically and mentally and to not leave them to their own devices. While some boredom is good for the teen brain, excessive free time can increase their risk to get involved in harmful behaviors.

Did you know that summer is the riskiest time of the year for teens and drugs? Research shows that more teens try marijuana and other drugs for the first time in June and July than any other time of the year. 

As your first priority, plan time to just have fun together, connecting as a family. Turn off the Media madness (that means you too!) and play a game. You’ll be surprised how much fun it is. Plus, it will reduce your stress and increase bonding, as you learn more about each person in the family. Spending time together walking, swimming or hiking outdoors is also a great chance to stay fit and connected. If one activity turns disasterous, try another one. Don't give up on connecting with your children.  

Communicate with your kids about the things they want to do this summer. Open them up to positive activities such as a sport, community serivce or have them take additional summer classes to keep their minds sharp and vibrant. Don’t allow their minds to become addicted to screens. And monitor what they are consuming when they are watching screens. Common Sense Media is a wonderful, time-saving tool.

If you have two minutes to spare, we'd love to get your feedback on issues that matter to you, as we are always striving to offer you the best research-based support to help your kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for all the wonderful dads out there. I hope you had a great Father's Day. 

Until next time,

Peggy

 

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Topics: President's Message, parents, summer, marijuana, drug abuse

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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